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Wednesday, 18 June 2008


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This is beautiful, evocative imagery, Ben. To coin Dashiell Hammett's final line from the Maltese Falcon, this is "...the stuff that dreams are made of."

To my eye the placement of this posting also presents an interesting counterpoint to Mike's "Top X Cameras" article. That Ben has produced such images with the relatively modest Pentax K20D camera speaks loudly of Ben's skills. But it also somewhat trivializes all of the "Best Camera" lists, rightly so. The "best camera" is the one in skilled hands.

Nice to see "Benjikan" featured here. He is a well-known member of many Pentax forums and always seems happy to share his knowledge and interact with the little people, while defending Pentax. Of course, unlike others, he has the photos to back up his claims, and proves that what makes a camera "pro" is the person behind it, rather than the camera itself.

Ah yes, nice to see. I am interested in: Are their other "Pros" working with Pentax? Does Anyone know? I will compile a list for a forum :)

Dear X,

Film count?

My main system is a Pentax 67, has been since 1970.

Bob Cameron, the aerial photographer who did the "Above..." series of coffee table books (starting with "Above San Francisco") is another Pentax 67 user.

pax / Ctein

What an excellent set of photos. The dynamic energy and the almost monochrome color is very effective.

Benjamin has it going on for sure.

Fine choice for RE

I really hate everything about this photograph. Sorry, but the fake wind in silks, the pose, the hair, the black outline (in fact the entire lighting setup, including that awful shade of purple), all of it is contrived and awkwardly executed. Every element in the photograph taken separately is bad, and the sum is worse. It is as if instead of creating a good photo, somebody said "Here is what we want in the photograph," and then when all of those things were there, they called it good without really looking at it as a whole.

The picture doesn't do anything. It's not selling any fashion, it's not telling a story, it's not a good portrait, and no, I'm sorry, this isn't art for art's sake. It is completely lacking in the creativity needed to make a good photograph, or any good piece of art.

I'm all for photographs of people that aren't anything but that, studio doesn't bother me a bit, fashion photography (and fashion) really is an art. I even do some of these things myself. But this is gotta be the worst I've seen in a long time. Tell me you're joking, please?

I notice the exif says 40mm for a lot of the shots. Can you inform us if this is the pentax 40mm pancake prime he is using?

Except for one or two, all his women are portrayed as beautiful "dolls" without a shred of expression or emotion. I can't get close enough to see but i'd swear their eyes are all made of glass. What was it that captivated you, Mike, the humble camera or the subject matter?

Wow! the model in the photograph looks so gorgeous!~ i like the way that she's been shot that way.

What captivated ME was the amazing art direction; perhaps it would not be a surprise that my favorites are the "i-doll" series. Yeah, it's all fake but it's all glorious.

Now back to interminable street photos of aging, frustrated New Yorkers.

The exif reports that the lens was:
"smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited"
So, yes, he used the pancake. :-)

Thanks Nathan. Thats a pretty potent combo. Its very hard for me to avoid pentax now. In principle, they have me completely gobsmacked at how they seem to produce the stuff I really seem to like.

Unless D90 is Ai-s Lens capable, I am moving to pentax k20D for my next kit. Reason: pancake lenses. Nikon simply can't match the discreetness for street shooting, this portfolio is rendered so beautifully with tones and graduations I think the Samsung sensor really is all that.

Dear paX,

i meant digital pros, but nice to hear you are a heavy user of the 67 system. Another quest. Have you ever used the 67 Lenses with adaptor on the DSLR?


Impressive stuff, but then I've always liked his photos. It also shows what can be made with a compact package like the K20D and some LImited primes. In-body IS obviously helps too, achieving the long exposure times (assuming these are handheld).


I'm sure it's done with studio flash. IS doesn't enter into it....

Mike J.

Hi Mike J.;

I used a mix of HMI cinema lights, Tungsten and Studio Flash for these images.

Benjamin Kanarek

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